How to Not Be a Millionaire (and Still Travel)
If you ask people why they don’t travel if they want to, they usually give you two reasons: no time and no money. Now, we can’t tell you how to find time, it’s your life priorities after all, but we can help you find ways to travel within your means. And it won’t even imply any (well, maybe just a little) vagabondism!
Choose Your Destination Wisely
A week in one of the big touristic cities of Europe can drain your account more than exploring breathtaking Indonesian beaches and national parks for a month. If Eiffel Tower, opera, and Foie gras are not absolute requirements for your trip, try choosing cheaper destinations! This simple compromise will allow you to travel longer and experience more for the same amount of money. See where the cheap flights go: start monitoring half a year before your holiday, subscribe to a local flight discount newsletter. Don’t forget also to check how big are the accommodation and food costs there. Buy and book stuff in advance to get it cheaper and have more options. Which brings us to…
Never Get Stuck with a Single Option
The only option you have is always, always the most expensive one. The only restaurant or gas station around when you are hungry and out of gas can ask for any price and you’ll have to pay it. You don’t want to die of hunger on a lonely road near a dead motorcycle after all. With your last living breath, you’ll probably regret not packing sandwiches and an extra bottle of fuel. So the moral is you should do everything you can to avoid situations where your only option is to pay. This means planning ahead and being prepared for emergencies. Always have a plan B in case your main plan goes wrong, and maybe also have at least a vague vision of plan C. You know, just in case.
Leave Huge Suitcases Behind
Not only don’t you need as much stuff as you think, a big suitcase might mean additional transportation fees if you’re traveling cheaply. This reasoning is pretty obvious, but there is another side to it that only people who travel a lot see immediately. A manageable backpack saves you money because you’re freer in your choices. I mean, have you tried riding a motorbike or mounting a camel with your suitcase? How many times have you paid to keep your luggage on hold on a railway station or at a hotel because you couldn’t stand to drag it around? How necessary does this third pair of pants look to you now?
Bargain and Compare Options
Now, there are countries where bargaining is a way of life. There, if you don’t fight for a better price, you deserve all your money taken from you. But even in places where prices are fixed, it never hurts to ask about discounts or cheaper options. You don’t look like a beggar, you look like an interested customer and a possible source of income, so don’t be shy! For most of the services, there are several competing providers, and it’s always better to explore all the options before making your choice. Works especially well if you are seen looking for a better price – the service providers might offer you discounts just to make you choose them. I’m looking at you especially, taxi drivers!
Save on a Daily Basis
Traveling is a choice you actively make every day when you decide not to go to a fancy restaurant, not to buy a new dress or opt for a cheaper accommodation. It’s all about priorities! Before buying something, think if you really want it or would three more days surfing on the Philippines make you happier? Tracking your spending helps a lot. When you realize how much money your coffee habit or partying or smoking costs you a month, chances are you’ll seriously think of choosing a healthier lifestyle. Besides, it will later reduce your medical fees, so it’s a win-win anyway!
Not being able to afford a cruise in the Mediterranean doesn’t mean you can’t have tons of fun during your holiday! Hopefully, our advice will help you trot the globe without worrying too much about your bank account!Written by Kate